What is Electrical Load Management?
The term “electric load management”, also known simply as load management, refers the systems that match demand with electricity supply. It is easy to generate a steady supply with standard coal, gas, or nuclear plants.
Simply fire up the generator to ensure you have enough fuel. The demand isn’t constant. There is more demand for power at dinnertime and during the summer when air conditioners are running. The power company must be able supply power at all times. However, they may feel motivated to shift large electric loads from peak-demand times to off-peak times.
They do this by using load management. The three main types of load management are load clipping, load filling (valley filling), and load shifting. The majority of strategies discussed here are load shifting or load shedding strategies. This means that energy prices are raised during peak usage hours and for high-volume users.
It is possible to raise rates during peak hours because peak usage can be predicted with modern forecasts typically within 1%.
Electric load management is complex because of other factors. The technology is not simple, the economic complexities are strong, and most data comes from power companies that are looking to make money, but not necessarily to understand their business strategies.
However, it is impossible to understand power generation and distribution without taking into account fluctuations in demand and the interplay of supply and power demand. Electric load management is complex for several reasons.
The technology is not simple, the economic complexities are strong influences on the overall picture, as well as the fact that most of the data comes primarily from power companies, who are looking to make money and not necessarily to understand their business strategies. However, it is impossible to understand power generation and distribution without taking into account fluctuations in demand and the interplay of supply and demand.
Calculation of Electrical Load
The United State Department of Energy is the best resource for calculating your electrical loads. The United State Department of Energy offers an Energy Appliance Calculator that allows you to enter each appliance to determine the average power consumption for that type of appliance.
You can also see how much electricity it would consume and how that would affect your electricity bill if that appliance was left on for a set amount of time. Add the Wattage of each appliance to calculate your household’s cumulative electrical load.
Electrical Load Management: The Basics and the Advantages
Electric utilities are no longer limited to generating and selling power. They must balance a complex grid through understanding utility load management basics.
There are many sources of electricity that can be connected to the smart grid. These are the main ones:
- Baseload power plants – such as coal-fired plants provide the minimum electricity.
- Peaking power plants – such as natural gas-fired plants meet fluctuating energy needs (at peak hours of the day).
- Renewables power plants – such as wind, solar, biomass and geothermal are not always reliable.
- Distributed generation sources allow consumers to generate their own electricity through sources such as rooftop solar or small wind turbines.
This generation mix creates a complex electric grid. However, utilities still need to supply reliable power and offer attractive packages for customers to retain them and attract new customers. Electrical load management is a way to achieve this.